Hilly, ice-covered roads may seem like the domain of giant off-road trucks, but the reality is a small FWD sedan with the proper tires often fares better. Watch this Fusion embarrass a clump of wrecked trucks. Gravity... (H/T BusterBMW!)
I've always fared quite well with FWD cars. I used to have a rough time in my old Prelude with Pirelli all-seasons that were utter crap in the snow, but I managed to get around.
I've always been annoyed by AWD snobs who think their cars are magic on wheels, convinced they're never going to slide and spin out again. AWD is great for getting out of deep snow and conditions where there's still some amount of grip. But when it comes down to it an AWD car will slide around as easily as anything else, in fact, if you don't know what you're doing you can probably spin out rather easily.
A very crucial aspect of driving on snow is planning your route and judging road conditions. If I have to drive I choose a route that features fewer hills and if I see other people struggling on a particular road I turn around and go another way.
Of course, if you live some place where hills are completely unavoidable then it's your responsibility to be prepared, either with proper snow tires or even chains if necessary.
Is it me or are Washington drivers are surprised by snow every single year? You think they would have learned by now.